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Climate change is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, and at The University of Texas at Austin ESI is pushing to promote the understanding of climate change through innovative research, outreach, and coursework.

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Faster Warming Rowlands et al 2012New predictions that better take into account uncertainties suggest global average temperatures will increase quickly. The thick blue lines show the predicted ‘likely’ range (66% confidence interval). Red bars show the IPCC-AR4 expert ‘likely’ range around 2050 and 2080. (Rowlands et al., 2012, Nature Geoscience) Faster Global WarmingA new study of multi-model climate simulations published in Nature Geoscience suggests the possibility of stronger warming than anticipated. Global average temperature could be between 1.4°C and 3°C warmer in 2050 than it was just a couple of decades ago.  That’s substantially higher than estimates produced by other analyses, suggesting that Earth’s climate could warm much more quickly than previously thought.

Rowlands, D.J., et al., 2012. Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble. Nature Geoscience.
2_28droughtThe Texas Drought of 2011-2012 is not over yet. Climate News So, it rained a few of times in the last months; sometimes fairly hard and long.  Is the Texas drought over?  The February 28 U.S. Drought Monitor still has the great majority of Texas at drought intensities of Moderate or worse. Now is  not the time to start wasting water!
TaveFigure 1 of Muller et al., submitted,”Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures”. Global land temperature anomalies, 12-­month moving averages. Berkeley Earth data were randomly chosen from sites that were not used by the other groups. Climate Research News A new comprehensive analysis of the land surface temperature record is about to be published, and it confirms that the modern world is warming. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, led by physicist Richard Muller at the University of California has taken a new look at historical surface temperature data.  Previous studies used a smaller data set and corrected some temperature data based on probable measurment biases. Some warming skeptics criticised this selection and adjustment of data. The new analysis starts from first principles, includes much more of the available data and uses sopisticated statistical anaylses to weed out bad measurements. The results confirm the earlier studies’ estimates and indicate about 1°C (1.8°F) of warming since the mid-1950s.
Climate-ResearchDr. Yang uses the latest technologies to explore the interaction of land and atmosphere. Climate Research ESI-affiliated researchers from the Jackson School of Geosciences Climate Systems Sience, the Department of Geography and the Environment, and the Section of Integrative Biology are hard at work advancing the understanding of climate change and its impacts.  For example, Dr. Zong-Liang Yang’sLand Environment and Atmospheric Dynamics Group is exploring the ways in which land shpaes wather, climate, air quality, and water resources.For more about ESI faculty and their research, visit ESI’s affiliated faculty page.
Climate-Outreach Climate Outreach Since its inception, ESI has been leading the way in helping the public understand the importance and nature of global climate change.  For example, last winter Dr. Gerald North from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A & M University presented a talk on the Lone Start Impacts of Global Warming.For more information on Hot Science – Cool Talks, visit the series’ website at www.hotsciencecooltalks.org
Climate-EducationDr. Young also teaches about Landscape Ecology (GRG 335N), another course in the EVS Program. Climate Education With the variety of local environs provided by Central Texas, UT-Austin students are presented with a unique set of natural laboratories in which to explore climate change.  For example, Dr. Ken Young, Chair of the Department of Geography and the Environment not only researches climate change from glaciers to the Western Amazon, he also teaches a course in Climate Change (GRG 333K) that is part of the EVS curriculum and is open to all undergraduate students.For more environmental science courses being offered, visit ESI’s featured courses page.
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